Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Critters responses and Submission Dilemmas

I got much more positive responses from my second round of Critters than my first--mostly, I think, because Pandora's Time is a much tighter and well-written story than The French Maid.  The French Maid is still giving me trouble.  I started working on a complete rewrite, and I'm already stalling again.  I don't think any other story I've written has gone through so many incarnations, nor caused me to fret so much over how to approach it.  Hopefully I'll be happy with the end result, but right now it's sapping a lot of energy.

Pandora's Time got ten critiques, as opposed to the 25 from last time.  This is probably due to the fact that Pandora's Time is 10,000 words long, twice as long as The French Maid was.  Based on the responses I got, I'll probably quickly tidy up of Pandora's Time and then get it out into the world.  I'm having a bit of a dilemma though:  there's an anthology with an upcoming deadline that I'd like to send it to--it's called Times of Trouble and is to be full of time travel stories.  It sounds like a really great fit for the story--but I just realized that Pandora's Time is over their word count limit.

I'm torn.  Usually I try to follow submission guidelines to the letter, but I really feel like this would be a great fit.  And it IS an anthology, meaning they'll probably have some flexibility in lengths.  Do I send it anyway?  And if I do, do I say "my story is over your word limit but I feel it is a good fit..." (something editors probably get regularly and cringe to hear) or do I just send it without drawing attention to the length?  Gaahh!  I don't know what to do!

If anybody from Critters stops by, thanks for your helpful critiques!


Ben Godby said...

Unless an editor specifies their word limit is "firm," I think you can get away with a few hundred extra words; I even think it's sound practice to test those limits a little, since an editor may love your story despite the word count. Of course, the longer your story is, the likelier it is it will be weeded out from the slush pile, and thus the more you'll need to impress them with its quality--since every word, literally, counts!


Alex J. Kane said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog to say hello, Eileen! Sounds like you've managed to cultivate a nice success for yourself with the sale of "Night Terrors." Well done; hard work, it seems, eventually does pay off. I'm hoping to see some such success in the near future, but who knows? The important thing is that we're writing.

You've got a very nice blog, which I feel is pretty much obligatory for any writer, pro or aspirant.

Best of luck in the future! If you don't mind, I'll gladly add your link to my "Author Blogs" list on my own site.

Anonymous said...

Query the anthologist on length. If they ask for it, send as is, if they don't submit (to their length).


Anonymous said...

Also... Glitch in the Continuum.

Haven't you already placed a story through them?


Eileen Rhoadarmer said...

Hello authors! Thanks for stopping by. It's great to see you all and thanks for your thoughts on the word count dilemma. It's crunch time now, since the Times of Trouble deadline is a week away!

Ben--nice to meet you, and thanks for stopping by!

Alex--I don't mind at all, and appreciate any links back here. Good luck towards getting your first acceptance too!

Brian--thanks for the mention of the other anthology! I hadn't been on Library of the Living Dead since I went on vacation a few weeks ago, and this was a new one to me. It's deadline is safely after Times of Trouble, so I might wind up trying both, depending on what happens with the first.

Keep writing, everybody!